Archive for December, 2013

How To: Simple Persistent Google Hangout Virtual Conference Rooms

conference_roomCreate Friendly Named Persistent Google Hangout URLs

A 7 minute read.

This post describes using Google Hangouts for easy virtual meetings by associating a domain or DNS name to a persistent, long-lived, Google Hangout URL.

 

Upon completing these simple instructions you will be able to access and share an easy to remember DNS name to your persistent Google Hangout.

An example persistent friendly URL:

http://acme-hangout.com

http://team-meeting.acme.com

–> Launches a consistent Google Hangout and everyone will be in the same “virtual” room. <–

Persistent Google Hangouts Use Cases

  • Recurring team meetings
  • “Drop-in” published office hours
  • Create a persistent Hangout for each physical conference room
  • Mix physical and virtual meetings

Google Hangouts is a great distributed team productivity tool for virtual meetings. Since the original launch in Fall 2011 Google has incrementally improved the service and filed down the rough edges. But while steadily improving, Hangouts is still not perfect for organizing recurring or ad-hoc virtual meetings.

We’re accustomed to services like GoToMeeting and Webex which offer admin control panels for scheduling recurring events. In contrast, Google Hangouts has no central meeting control panel. Also, when a group meeting is over, and as the last person exits, the meeting disappears into the ether. Resuming a meeting requires a new invitation and is cumbersome.

The online meeting metaphor should be that of a virtual conference room that mirrors how a physical conference room works. In this way, the meeting organizer only needs to publish the conference location (in our case a DNS name) and allow the attendees to “walk in” (join a Hangout) at their own pace. This is in contrast to how Hangouts work now, requiring the meeting owner to pull each attendee into the meeting.

Our goal is to remove the unnecessary ceremony starting a virtual meeting.

We have found a way to connect a DNS name to a “long-lived” persistent Google Hangout URL. A DNS name is easily remembered and simulates a virtual conference room.

2 Easy Steps

First Step:

1. Create a Google Hangout persistent URL.

Second Step:

2a. Redirect a domain to the persistent URL.

or if you are skilled in DNS management, save money and use a sub domain instead of buying a new domain:

2b. Create a DNS zone for a current domain and use “HTTP Redirect” to connect the DNS name to the URL.

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